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Stage-Gate International Conveys Importance of Innovation and New Products in Foodservice to Industry Leaders at IFMA President’s Conference

PHOENIX, AZ (November 7, 2011) - Speaking to foodservice industry leaders at the 2011 IFMA President’s Conference, Michelle Jones of Jones of Stage-Gate International (SGI) and Devon Gerchar of the International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA) today addressed the importance of innovation and new products in the foodservice industry.

The presentation stressed the importance of developing new products, and discussed key factors that uniquely impact foodservice manufacturers and operators. The presentation also highlighted the newly-formed Centre of Innovation Excellence (CIE) for foodservice was also highlighted, outlining the great strides made by IFMA and SGI’s partnership to bring innovation best practices to the foodservice industry.

The CIE is a diverse group of foodservice manufacturers and operators, and includes leaders from the following organizations: Bama, Basic American, Bunge, Coca-Cola, FoodHandler, General Mills, Hobart (ITW), Insight Beverages, Kellogg’s, Kerry Foodservice, Kraft, Land O’Lakes, Lyons Magnus, McCain, Nestle Professional, Otis Spunkmeyer, Procter & Gamble, PepsiCo Foodservice, Rich’s, Sara Lee, Sargento, Schwan’s, Surlean Foods, Sweet Street Desserts, and Unilever Food Solutions.

The President’s Conference is an annual invitation-only forum designed for the leadership of foodservice distribution and manufacturing companies. This year’s conference focused on the importance of innovation within foodservice, and insights and strategies to engage consumers with foodservice organizations.

For additional information, contact:
Michael Phillips
Director of Professional Development and Affiliations
Stage-Gate International

About Michelle Jones
Michelle Jones is the Executive Vice President and Chief R&D Officer of Stage-Gate International (SGI) and is a speaker, author and consultant on the topic of product innovation.  She leads the commercialization of some of the world’s best practice research on product innovation into products and services for companies striving to achieve innovation excellence.  Her portfolio includes strategic partnerships, product management and marketing and R&D.

Michelle has worked with an impressive portfolio of companies and has over 20 years of experience across several industries including Aerospace, Automotive, Chemical, Consumer Packaged Goods, Defense, Electronics, Energy, Food, Financial, Medical and Pharmaceutical.  She has led numerous large-scale and complex Product Innovation Transformation Programs, spanning from Discovery and Stage-Gate Systems to Strategic Portfolio Management, to success.  

Michelle holds a Masters of International Business Administration degree from the University of Western Ontario, Food and Nutrition from Guelph University, a  Specialist Certificate in Project Management from McGill University and is a certified New Product Development Professional (NPDP).

Prior to joining SGI, Michelle was a senior leader at KPMG (now Bearing Point) of Business Transformation Consulting Services where she specialized in leading the design and implementation of complex, organization-wide post-merger process integration and change projects.

About Stage-Gate International (SGI):
Stage-Gate International, a member company of the Product Development Institute, is a globally recognized and trusted brand and is a full-service provider of solutions which enable organizations to improve their Product Innovation and Portfolio Management capabilities to become better product innovators.  SGI has access to the world’s most comprehensive research into best practices in Product Innovation that has led to some of the most important discoveries in the innovation field; such as, Stage-Gate®, The Innovation Performance DiamondTM and the concept of Portfolio Management. For more information visit

About IFMA Center of Innovation Excellence (CIE)
The Center of Innovation Excellence will provide IFMA members, their customers and trading partners with a deeper understanding of the drivers of new product success that are unique to foodservice as well as a variety of resources to help improve their capabilities. For more information visit:

About International Foodservice Manufacturers Association (IFMA)
Established in 1952 and incorporated in 1954, IFMA is a leading trade association comprising more than 300 of the world’s most prestigious food, equipment and supply manufacturers in the $588 billion foodservice industry, as well as related marketing service organizations, foodservice trade publications, distributors and brokers. IFMA’s mission (“Your Business Partner”) is to be the premier foodservice trade association bringing members relevant and actionable services fundamental for their business assessment, planning and execution. For more information visit:

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